As Ezra Kline noted on Facebook:
Obama’s defense of Susan Rice strongly reminded me of this scene from “The American President.” “You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me, ’cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league.”
I love this President’s tenacity and resolve. Basically he’s letting his GOP haters become his motivation for moving forward on his plans regardless of the same old tired intimidation tactics.
I guess they didn’t get the memo: It’s a new day and your ideas are as tired and stale as your party.
President Obama on Wednesday defended Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a possible replacement for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, against criticism from Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on the Benghazi attacks in Libya.
“If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” Obama told reporters at the White House. “I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador? Who had nothing to do with Benghazi? To besmirch her reputation? It’s outrageous.”
He further added that if the senators are going after Rice “because they think she’s an easy target,” “[t]hen they’ve got a problem with me.”
Graham and McCain objected to any talk of Rice as secretary of state at a press conference on the Hill earlier on Wednesday, with Sen. Graham saying she is “so disconnected from reality that I don’t trust her.” McCain maintained that they would “do whatever is in our power,” alluding to a filibuster, to block Rice should Obama decide to go forth with the nomination.
Moments after Obama spoke, Graham released a statement doubling down on his objection to Rice:
“Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack.
“We owe it to the American people and the victims of this attack to have full, fair hearings and accountability be assigned where appropriate. Given what I know now, I have no intention of promoting anyone who is up to their eyeballs in the Benghazi debacle.”
Watch the video below:
- Obama Calls McCain’s Attacks On Susan Rice ‘Outrageous’ (thinkprogress.org)
- Obama dares McCain: Go after Susan Rice and ‘you’ve got a problem with me’ (rawstory.com)
- McCain: ‘Will do everything in my power’ to block Susan Rice appointment (rawstory.com)
- McCain: Susan Rice ‘not qualified’ to be Secretary of State (thehill.com)
- Obama praises Petraeus, says he’s confident in FBI (politico.com)
- Obama pushes back on smear campaign against Susan Rice (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Video: McCain scolds reporter for “one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard” (cbsnews.com)
- John McCain, Lindsey Graham Vow To Block Susan Rice From Becoming Secretary Of State (outsidethebeltway.com)
- McCain vows to block Susan Rice at State Dept. (usatoday.com)